Debunking 17 Common Myths About Transgender People

The world is becoming more accepting of transgenders, from all the movies and TV shows displaying gender fluidity support.

Transgenders are those who identify with a gender different from their birth assignment. While it’s great that people are adapting to these changes, there are still many misunderstandings about transgenders. Here are 17 of the most common myths you should know about. 

1. Sexual Orientation Is the Same as Gender Identity

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Sexual orientation and gender identity are two different things. Sexual orientation is based on who you are sexually attracted to, while gender identity refers to who you are. Transgender falls under gender identity. 

A transgender who’s female at birth may also be categorized as straight, gay, bisexual, or asexual, depending on who he’s attracted to. This means that being transgender does not have anything to do with the gender you’re attracted to. 

2. Transgenders Are Mentally Ill

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Both the American Psychiatric Association and American Medical Association have confirmed that being transgender is not a case of a mental illness. It is actually a solution to gender dysphoria, which refers to the state of unease that one feels when one realizes that their assigned gender at birth is different than what it actually is. 

Transitioning is what the medical experts believe to be the treatment for gender dysphoria. If not done, it can result in severe mental issues like anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation. 

3. You Only Need A Surgery to Transition

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Transitioning is a long and complex process that goes beyond medical procedures and will not be resolved in a single surgery. This includes personal, social, and even legal changes, turning their lives over completely. 

Transgenders change their personal lives, adapting new habits and undergoing gender-affirming surgeries and therapies. Socially, they start to hang out with a new circle of friends. And legally, they make changes, from their names to gender, on official documents like their driver’s licenses. 

4. Transgenders Are Only Going Through A Phase

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Transgenders all go through their transition, but being transgender is not just a phase. It is not similar to changes in your fashion tastes or career shifts. Being transgender is a gender identity you will live in forever. 

5. Healthcare for Transgenders Is Expensive

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With the rise and acceptance of transgenders today, many health plans have been structured to be more inclusive. Trans-inclusive care plans are priced similarly to standard plans, which fall between $25,000 and $75,000, complete with trans-inclusive treatments. 

In San Francisco, the solution of the Human Rights Commission is to create the Transgender Health Benefits Program, which can ensure that the procedures and treatments included in the care plan are much more affordable. 

6. Transgenders Have a Specific Look

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It’s a mistake to label transgenders based on a specific look since this is a bad case of stereotyping. Expecting trans men to look masculine and trans women to look more feminine is limiting. There are diverse body types and styles that you can’t assume anyone’s gender identity based on appearance alone. 

7. Children Are Too Young to Know Their Gender Identity

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While medical experts admit that it’s not 100% accurate, children can tell early on the gender they identify with. Identifying cases of gender dysphoria or gender non-conformity earlier is the priority. But it doesn’t mean you need to know your gender by the time you’re 5 years old. Everything is a process, and gender identity and discovery are an unfolding experience for many. 

8. Transgenders Make Horrible Parents

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Transgenders can be incredible or horrible parents, similar to how other gender identities can fall into either of the two. It’s unfair and cruel to say they can’t build a loving and nurturing home for their children. Ultimately, they’re just like other parents who want the best for their kids. 

9. Transgenders Always Regret Choosing to Transition

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Transitioning is the dream for many transgenders, and once they do, they get this profound relief that their gender identity is finally recognized. There may be rare cases where some were not diagnosed with gender dysphoria but went through with the transition anyway. It’s not surprising for these people to regret their transition since they weren’t sure in the first place. 

10. Transgenders Make up a Third Gender

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Transgenders should not be considered as the third sex option. You can’t just group transgenders as the “third” gender along with other gender identities besides the standard male and female. More than being an insult to them and all the other gender identities, it can create confusion.

11. You Can Change Transgenders Back Through Therapy

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Using therapy as a solution to “cure” gender nonconformity is an outdated and ridiculous belief. You cannot reverse someone’s gender identity because it’s like a statement of fact,  not a condition that needs altering. In fact, the process of transitioning is the actual medical solution for transgenders. 

12. Drag Kings and Queens Are Transgenders

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The LGBTQ community is massive, and generalizing drag kings and queens to be transgenders is erroneous. Drag queens are men dressing up like women for entertainment. Drag kings are women who dress up like men for the same purpose. While some of them may be transgenders, some may also be just plain cross-dressers.

13. All Transgenders Medically Transition

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Many transgenders opt to undergo surgery as part of their transition, whether for psychological or aesthetic purposes. Not everyone chooses this path, though. Others also can’t afford the full medical transition from surgeries to hormone therapy. Medical transition is not a requirement for transgenders anyway. 

14. All Transgenders Hate Their Bodies

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Many transgenders choose to transition and undergo surgeries before they feel like their bodies are not for them. Some find a way to accept and celebrate their bodies, reconciling the fact that gender identity is not limited to their genitals. 

15. It’s Dangerous to Allow Transgenders to Use Preferred Bathrooms

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Transgenders like to use the bathrooms they identify with. Many conservatives see this as dangerous, especially for women.

The truth is that there’s no clear evidence or even a recorded case in the United States where someone was attacked by a transgender in the bathroom. More often than not, they just want to do their business and go out. 

16. Hormone Treatments Can Change People’s Personality

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Transgenders often get hormone treatments when they transition. Some believe that the treatments can change their personalities. It’s true that they can affect their moods and responses to situations but never who they are and their personalities. 

17. Transgenders Are either Confused People or Scammers

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Transgenders are people who just want to live their lives the way they should and want to. They are not confused about their genders, nor are they scammers who pretend to be someone they’re not.